Written on: 27/10/2009
I will start by saying that this is a good bike for the price you will pay for it and is a good "re-introduction" to cycling if you have been out of the saddle for a while. It's certainly a vast improvement on the bottom of the range £100 bracket Halfords bikes. The riding position is comfortable thanks to adjustable stem. The mega-range gears have an extra-high top cog to help you up hills when you run out of puff. Would recommend for short, occasional commutes, rides out on cycletracks, tow paths etc.
It's no offroader and if you use it a lot or on longer rides, you will find that it begins to feel cumbersome, heavy and sluggish to ride (and you get awfully sore from vibration through the rigid frame) - it is no lightweight and the rims are cheap and heavy leading to slow acceleration and a tiring ride if you are stop/start commuting. As you get fit, the megarange gear becomes surplus to requirements (and downright annoying when you slip into it by mistake) and it lacks speed at the bottom end of the gear range. The tyres are cheap, easy to puncture and hard to remove and replace.
After 6 months at 10-12 miles every day commuting I had to replace the stem (it creaked and the locking piece was plastic which gave too much flex), the brake blocks (the supplied ones bite too much and were scoring the rim), had demolished the cheap plastic headset and the fork interior had worn out and needed replaced (with a rigid one, as the supplied one offers no merits and a replacement would cost the good part of the bike cost).
By the time I had replaced the saddle, tyres and pedals, added mudguards and a pannier rack and the necessary survival kit of saddleback, frame pump and bottle cage I had almost double what I had payed for the bike.
If you want an every day commuting hack and intend to keep it up, spend a few hundred pounds more and you won't regret it. For other, more leisurely purposes, this is a good buy.